In hiring Laffey, McCrea says he purposely chose someone with good people skills to ensure attention to training and fast responses to calls for help. He also regards the time Laffey spent familiarizing himself with the business and the uses of the phones as an investment that will pay off as he adds new features that will improve productivity.
CAT distributorships are generally family owned and the IT departments in different states share experiences, McCrea says, including knowledge about their phone systems. Most of his peers use Cisco phone systems, but he's looking forward to showcasing to them what he's done with Asterisk in Michigan.
"When I told them, I got a lot of cross-eyed looks," he says. "We've shown you can get this done fairly inexpensively and without fear."
Read more about lans and routers in Network World's LANs & Routers section.